Category Archives: Economics

Our internal drivers

Featured image: <drivers.jpg> (image: HeungSoon/Pixabay) In the face of multiple, conflicting motives, how can we make the best decisions? The very first humans were already economists. At least, that is what we would conclude if we were to believe the … Continue reading

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Smiling at a deadweight loss

featured image: Matt Stratton/Flickr CC BY NC ND 2.0) Should we be simply be giving each other cash, or are presents better after all? 28 years ago, then young-ish economist Joel Waldfogel wrote a paper, The Deadweight Loss of Christmas, … Continue reading

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The favourable dictator

(featured image: Jeanne darq/Flickr CC BY NC ND 2.0) Social beings that we are, we regularly rely on favours from others, but bluntly asking is rather awkward. Are there better ways? Yes, there are! It is hard to imagine our … Continue reading

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The non-non-conformity bias

(featured image: illustration from the Emperor’s New Clothes via Wikimedia) How what we believe other people think leads to a peculiar kind of inaction Picture the scene. A bunch of young adolescents, all dressed up, awkwardly sitting on the chairs … Continue reading

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Real repugnance

Should some transactions – even between two willing parties – be forbidden? The other day, I came across a picture from the US, showing a small sign attached to a tree announcing that someone was willing to buy diabetic test … Continue reading

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Disruptive benefits

Featured image: Dave Schumaker/Flickr BY-CC-ND 2.0 How a change of plans and expectations can act as shock therapy to help us properly consider our choices… or not Imagine you’re going on a city break with your spouse to celebrate a … Continue reading

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The meaning of things

The value of an object to us is closely tied with its meaning, and that is tied up in the emotions we experience The art market can be peculiar, but by and large there are some principles that generally seem … Continue reading

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Why slowing down climate change is hard (and how it might be done anyway)

(featured image: <flooding,jpg> Sue Thompson/Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0) Countries get together to discuss how to address climate change, but it’s people’s behaviour that needs to change If, one evening, you were to discover that your house is on fire, I … Continue reading

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The good death

Featured image: <verdiende rust.jpg> image: Martine/Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0) Decisions are a matter of trade-offs, and end-of-life decision-making is literally a matter of trading off life and death. But our society exhibits a status quo bias that raises big ethical … Continue reading

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Important futilities

Sometimes what we do seems to be unduly influenced by what appears to be utterly futile. Is that as unwise as it seems? Last Saturday was Luka’s 6th birthday. We had some balloons to decorate the house, and for just … Continue reading

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